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Sapiophile: What It Is, 20 Signs & Why It’s Not the Same as Sapiosexual

If you’re someone attracted to intelligence and wisdom, you might just be a sapiophile! Keep reading to know what the concrete signs of a sapiophile are.


Would you prefer a date with Elon Musk over Ryan Gosling? Do you find her ability to deconstruct Sartre’s works sexier than the most revealing dress in her wardrobe? Or are you more likely to find your future spouse in a book convention than at a bar? If this is the flavor of your romance, then you most likely are a sapiophile.

If you’re someone who’s more into someone’s mind rather than their body, or drawn to someone who displays even the slightest knowledge, these are some of the clearest signs of a sapiophile. If you resonate with some of these signs, you might just be one!

[Read: Romantic orientation – The most common ones all of us must know]

What makes someone a sapiophile?

A sapiophile is someone who is attracted to intelligence more than any other trait.

So if this is you, you’d rather dive into someone’s mind rather than their body. Of course, this doesn’t mean a sapiophile would never get attracted to someone’s physical qualities.

However, what makes them attracted both sexually and romantically is the intellect and mindset of a person. This is why when dating a sapiophile, they generally enjoy meaningful and deep conversations over trivial gossip.

They might not show it obviously, but sapiophiles are wise and intellectual individuals, which is why they seek someone who matches a similar level of intellect.

They’re the opposite of superficial, so you might find them shying away from small talk or meaningless conversations from time to time. To get their heart, the key lies in their mind. In other words, developing mental intimacy is the key. [Read: Attracted to intelligence? 10 clues you might be sapiosexual]

Sapiophile vs sapiosexual

Many people get confused with this, so let’s clear this up before we get to the signs of a sapiophile.

From the term itself, sapiosexual is one of the sexual orientations that exist today. It generally means you’re sexually attracted to someone of intelligence or wisdom irrespective of their gender. While this can hold similar meanings to that of a sapiophile, a sapiosexual is limited to sexual attraction – nothing more.

If you’re a sapiophile, there’s an emotional or romantic attraction. The lines can easily intersect between these two, but a sapiosexual is more of a classification of a sexual or gender orientation.

[Read: List of sexualities – 15 gender orientations you need to know about]

How to recognize a sapiophile – The most obvious signs of a sapiophile

Sapiophiles or more commonly, sapiosexuals, are people who find intelligence sexy and attractive above all else. Oh, they like physical beauty too. However, they place more weight on the quality of someone’s brain in choosing a romantic partner.

While attraction to intelligence has been here a long time, the term sapiosexuality and sapiophilia have seen a bout of popularity in online dating profiles. But do people really know what it means? What are the signs of a sapiophile?

1. You are most likely an intelligent person yourself

Chemistry class taught us the phrase “like dissolves like” for substances. In the same way, sapiophiles tend to attract their own kind. The minds of intelligent people work on a much more complex level than the average person.

That’s why their preferences and manner of socializing are a bit complicated for anyone below their intelligence level. Simply put: less smart people bore them. For others, a sapiophile might seem out of their league or that their standards are way too high.

In reality, one of the signs of a sapiophile is that they’re just looking for someone who understands their mind and thoughts. [Read: How to become an intellectual – Fake it ’til you make it]

2. You crave intelligent conversation like how an average person craves sex

Not that sapiophiles don’t want sex. It’s just that intellectual and deep conversations excite them the same way sex does. Sapiophiles likely spend dates having long discussions about science, politics, art, or literature. This is why in order to turn on a sapiophile in the manner you’d turn on an average person, you need to get their mind.

So discussing anything and everything meaningful in life will excite them more than anything. Gossip and showbiz inanities have no place in post-dinner talk, and foreplay is probably a debate over a current political issue. [Read: The best deep conversation starters to impress anyone, anytime!]

3. You want someone who holds their own in a conversation

Be it your family members, that overbearing friend, or the other friend with outlandish political views, the sapiophile wants someone who converses with different types of people with different views and still manages to convey their own views without fear or prejudice.

They actually don’t mind conversing with someone with a different political opinion or religious belief. It holds for a great conversation where they could go on and on for hours about their side, and they’d also listen to what the opposing side has to say.

This kind of healthy and constructive debate keeps them on their toes for hours. [Read: 12 meaningful topics that ignite an intellectual conversation]

4. You look for an intelligent sense of humor

Contrary to popular belief, sapiophiles do have a sense of humor. They’re not as serious and rigid as you think they are. They’re just incredibly picky with their sense of humor, which is one of the signs of a sapiophile.

While it’s true that a sense of humor can be at your advantage when finding a romantic partner, sapiophiles prefer a more profound sense of humor. This humor involves witty remarks, wordplay, and clever repartees.

It would be hard to make a sapiophile laugh if you only stick to juvenile dick jokes. [Read: Dry sense of humor – 20 signs you’re mastered the smart and dry funny bone]

5. Blatant ignorance quickly turns you off

There will be times when a beefy, overconfident guy or a superficial, air-headed girl comes your way and flirts with you. And no matter how physically attractive and trendy they get, you always have that primordial impulse to run for the hills rather than spend time with them.

Again, you’re not a superficial person and as a sapiophile, this kind of ignorance isn’t just something you want in someone. No matter how hot they are, you care more about how they think and their intelligence. [Read: Superficial person alert – 36 shallow traits they just can’t hide]

6. Wrong grammar rubs you in a bad way

Once in a while, you get a message inviting you for a date of some sort. Sapiophiles immediately have their “grammar filter” on screening those noble enough to defy the 140-character limit.

One of the signs of a sapiophile is when you’re very picky in their grammar when they text you, especially when conversing. So the minute you find that their texts are full of bad grammar or a lazy usage of bad abbreviations, it’s an immediate no for you.

7. You’re more interested in what’s on their bookshelf than in their wardrobe

Sapiophiles love themselves a comprehensive reader. However, it doesn’t end there. The average sapiophile has a scrutinizing eye for the titles you read. Are you for those cheaply-concocted vampire literature, or for some hardcore non-fiction that university professors wouldn’t even care to open?

Because, to a sapiophile, books are good topics for a deep conversation. In fact, if you’re not a reader, expect that a sapiophile will judge you right off the bat *and might even refrain from talking with you again*. [Read: Why is inner beauty more important than outer beauty?]

8. You are familiar with the “Thinking Man/Woman’s Crumpet”

For you, the embodiment of perfection is a person as smart as they are beautiful and talented.

The “thinking man/woman’s crumpet” is such a person, and you will be familiar with the names listed under this category: Brian Cox, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, and Bill Nighy for the ladies. Nigella Lawson, Gillian Anderson, and Carol Vorderman for the guys.

9. You prefer people with taste

Okay, having taste is very subjective. But for a sapiophile, they want someone with a similar taste to them. Sapiophiles prefer people who have developed their own taste of fashion, music, and ideas rather than adhering to trends.

They are aware that, like the Jedi mind trick, trends only affect the weak-minded. They can even judge a person initially based on the things they like, so if it’s not up to their intellectual standards, they’re just not interested.

10. You’re attracted to people of substance rather than people who want popularity

Sapiophiles wouldn’t care much about the likes and followers people starve for social media. They want people who talk about things that matter. In fact, they choose someone with unpopular yet realistic views rather than someone who says yes just to get the crowd to like them.

Everything about a sapiophile is substantial, which is one of the more admirable things about having one in your life. They don’t care about status, reputation, or image. All they care about is the things that really matter, such as knowledge and intellect. [Read: What are twin souls? 16 signs to know if you found yours]

11 . Your dates will be intellectually engaging

Dates with a sapiophile will be the opposite of bland, especially when both of you share a similar intellect and mindset. The conversation will go on for hours without either of you getting bored.

Your ideal date will be somewhere in this list: independent film festivals, art galleries, spoken word poetry events, museums, old book libraries, planetariums, and even historical sites. Sure, you can go for a coffee or to a pub as long as it’s the place where Hemingway wrote “A Farewell to Arms.”

12. The gifts you give and prefer to get are very nerdy

You don’t just give the typical gifts to your date or partner, as a sapiophile. Instead, it’s usually with meaning, and it’s always well-thought of. Forget the gadgets, clothes, and cutesy trinkets.

Nothing delights you more than to be given a rare first edition of a book you searched for your whole life.

Or maybe the same pen used by Neil Gaiman or a pendant forged from a meteorite. Others will call it nerdy, but it’s just you being in your element. [Read: Sapiosexual types and their clearly defined fantasies]

13. You also value emotional intelligence as well as raw intelligence

Most people assume that all a sapiophile cares about is mental intelligence, but they also admire emotional intelligence. After all, it’s rare to see someone with an admirable amount of emotional intelligence.

Knowing facts is one thing, but having emotional restraint and the capacity to introspect one’s feelings will be the cherry on top of the object of your desire. Sapiophiles look for emotional intelligence in a potential partner. Or the ability to discern feelings and emotions appropriately.

14. You probably own your own library shelf

It’s a sapiophile’s lifelong dream to own their own library where they can peacefully stimulate their intellectual capacity with every book they read. It’s literally paradise for them whenever they’re lost in a book, no matter what genre their current read is. [Read: Reinvent your life – 12 must-read books to read in your 20s]

This is also why you’d see a sapiophile being in their element whenever books surround them. They’d never get bored as long as they’re holding a book in their hand. If they meet someone who has the same preferences as them, there’s an instant connection already.

15. You have a photographic memory

Sapiophiles have a photographic memory because of their intellectual capacity, and it’s why they often remember the details of every book they’ve read. This is also why their memory serves them right the majority of the time. Whether it’s remembering a specific memory or book, they’re bound to remember it.

16. You’re curious by nature

With great intellect also comes great curiosity. One of the signs of a sapiophile you should watch out for is their curious nature. They’ll ask a lot of questions all because they want to know more about it. It’s not them being nosy, but they’re genuinely curious to know more and expand their knowledge.

This is also where they feel their brain and mind working at their full potential. When they’re learning, their neurons are fueled with sparks. [Read: Are you demiromantic? 13 signs you need time to build a connection]

17. You have an open mind

One of the signs of a sapiophile is their openness to every perspective and side. Great knowledge means they’re aware there are different sides to every story and opinion. So they don’t try to force their beliefs and opinions of others as they know that people are entitled to their own thoughts and ideas.

Also, it makes for a great debate when people believe in different things. The admirable thing about sapiophiles is they find the perfect balance between expressing their knowledge and being open to another perspective.

18. You don’t find it cute to “pretend to be dumb”

A sapiophile would never pretend to be someone they’re not just to fit in. So even in terms of their natural intellect and wisdom, they know it’s their strength and not a weakness. They would never pretend to be dumb just to make others feel more comfortable.

So if they see someone else doing this, it’s an immediate turn-off for them, both in terms of romance and friendship. Playing dumb is just useless and superficial for them. Not to mention, it’s a complete waste of your intellectual abilities. [Read: Should a girl dumb it down to impress a guy?]

19. You love learning

It’s a common misconception that sapiophiles are a complete know-it-all when it’s so far from the truth. They know they don’t have all the knowledge in the world at their reach, so they’re appreciative when someone corrects them of the truth or tells them a fact they didn’t know yet.

They love learning, and they’d be open to any opportunity for education. It also means they’ve met their match and someone who corrects them or makes them learn is someone they immediately admire.

20. You get turned on from the mind

Other people get turned on through dirty words, flirting, or physical foreplay. One of the signs of a sapiophile is their ability to get turned on by the mind. The minute you capture their mind, you have everything you need to attract a sapiophile.

But the minute you lose that mental intimacy or connection with them, it’s game over for any potential relationship you might have envisioned.

[Read: Different types of attraction – Which is most vital for true love?]

So, are you a sapiophile?

A sapiophile isn’t like an average person who gets attracted to looks and appearances only. They don’t really care much about external aspects, but what matters for them is a person’s intellectual abilities.

So if someone manages to get their mind, they’d also get the heart of a sapiophile.

Sapiophiles are the ones who look beyond the typical aspects that ordinary people tend to look for in a partner. They’re the perfect definition of what a substantial person is.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...